portion of the artwork for Emile DeWeaver's poetry

Lights, Action
Emile DeWeaver

Naomi Shihab Nye: A boy told me if he roller-skated fast enough his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him.

Emile DeWeaver: People in hell don’t want ice and clean water. They want wings.

Rorschach: (angry, intense voice) The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown.

Pablo Picasso: ART IS NOT MADE TO DECORATE ROOMS. IT IS AN OFFENSIVE WEAPON IN THE DEFENSE AGAINST THE ENEMY.

Ford Madox Ford: This is the saddest story I have ever heard.

Jorge Luis Borges: My story is about two men.

James Baldwin: While the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.

Rorschach: Because there is good and there is evil, and evil must be punished. Even in the face of armageddon I shall not compromise in this.

Picasso: EVEN IN A PRISON, I WOULD BE ALMIGHTY IN MY OWN WORLD OF ART, EVEN IF I HAD TO PAINT MY PICTURES WITH MY WET TONGUE ON THE DUSTY FLOOR OF MY CELL.

Emile DeWeaver: I used to write raps in my head, no paper and pencil. I would recite them to myself in isolation cells, memorizing them line by line.

John Berryman: We must travel in the direction of our fear.

Rorshach: No compromise!

Emile DeWeaver: District Attorney Jeff Rosen doesn’t believe in throwing lives away. His job is not personal, not mean. He respects even defendants in his pursuit of justice.

Samuel Beckett: The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.

Louise Erdrich: Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning.

Girl: Dad, I’m hungry.

Everybody: (silence)

Rorschach: Nobody knows who I am.

Enid Bagnold: Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything.

Mary Oliver: You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Borges: Having reached a hundred, the individual no longer stands in need of love or friendship.

Quevedo: He called it Utopia, a Greek word meaning there is no such place.

Rorschach: Nothing is hopeless. Not while there’s life.

Google Search: How Can Organisms Live Without Sunlight?

Isaac Asimov: In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.

Picasso: WHEN I WAS A CHILD MY MOTHER SAID TO ME, “IF YOU BECOME A SOLDIER, YOU’LL BE A GENERAL. IF YOU BECOME A MONK, YOU’LL END UP AS THE POPE.” INSTEAD, I BECAME A PAINTER AND WOUND UP AS PICASSO.

Emile DeWeaver: There were two Emiles during those months: Emile the rational master, who knew his future, and Emile the human animal, the survivor who’d been clawing for the right to breathe since father burned books, since expression filled the sky above the Youth Authority with thunder.

Rorschach: Heard a joke once: Man goes to the doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world.
Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.”
Man bursts into tears. Says “But doctor … I am Pagliacci.”


Everybody Else: (laughter)

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 45 | Spring 2015